Mon | Oct 26, 2020

Health workers in Guyana continue strike despite threat of disciplinary action

Published:Wednesday | September 30, 2020 | 9:20 AM
Healthcare workers protesting in Guyana – Contributed photo

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – Health workers continued their protest action Tuesday for improved working conditions even as the management of the Georgetown Hospital warned of “disciplinary action” if they did not return to work.

More than 150 nurses and medical staff have been protesting since last Friday for better working conditions, improved risk allowance, and on-time salaries.

But in a memo signed by the Director of Human Resources, Rohmena Chung, the workers were told that last Friday they “abandoned your post” and “were engaged in an illegal protest action within and around the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.

“Be advised that your action was a breach of your terms and conditions of employment and the Public Utilities Undertaking and Public Health Services Act.”

Chung warned that the management was urging the workers “to desist from such action”, saying “failure to adhere to your terms and conditions of employment and participation in further illegal protest will result in disciplinary action(s) being initiated against you.”

The nurses are being supported by the Guyana Public Service Union and the union’s acting General Secretary Kempton Alexander said it will continue to give its backing to the nurses and other healthcare workers.

Alexander said the workers have been putting themselves and their families at risk every day since the COVID-19 health crisis began in March.

“We are at risk and there is no allowance to help us and our families and since this pandemic occurred it would have cost us more than what we would have been spending normally. We have working conditions issues with things that are not readily available to us,” Alexander said.

The health workers have promised to continue protest actions on Wednesday and Thursday.

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